Friday, April 14, 2006

Language and Personality

It seems the language you speak has a direct effect on personality:

The personality of people who are bilingual changes depending on which language they use, lending credence to the Czech proverb “Learn a new language and get a new soul”.

And somehow this doesn't surprise me in the slightest. I've already observed that my higher-level students tend to be more willing to speak out, disagree, and in general have opinions than those at a lower level (all of those are very Anglosphere traits, at least as compared to Japanese culture.) Also, last Wednesday I attended a long and boring area meeting of all the teachers, staff, and school directors at the various Kanto area ECC schools. Towards the end we were introduced to the non-English teachers: Japanese teachers who teach Chinese, Korean, French, Italian, Spanish, and German. Each of them gave a short speech (basically, Hi my name is _______ in their respective languages), but I amused myself beforehand by trying to guess what languages they spoke. Two of the ladies were very well dressed, attractive, and friendly looking: I pegged them as speaking one of the Romance languages, and I was right. Another was hefty, dowdy, and more than a little bitter: I guessed German, and was once again right.

Kind of makes me wonder what kind of neurological hacking I'm doing by teaching myself Japanese....


At 11:18 PM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

During my younger years I used to go on a lot of lad’s holidays! Usual places, Magaluf, Ibiza and so on, but during the last couple of years we starting going to the Greek Islands more often, Kos, Zante, Malia were our regular haunts. If you know anything about the Greek police it is that they don’t like speaking English and won’t think twice about hitting you with a baton if they see fit. So I decided to learn Greek, only the basics so if anything kicked off I could communicate with them and hopefully calm the situation! I did it using a book and speaking to some Greek lads from my uni but it could have been quicker using a learning language online software.


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